Ralph Hasenhuttl blamed a poor first half for his side’s 3-1 defeat to Bournemouth.

Saints were 2-0 down at the break after a lacklustre showing, not helped by a number of changes at the back.

It was a hugely disappointing night for Saints as the Cherries were able to celebrate a first ever St Mary’s win.

Hasenhuttl said: “I think we lost this game in the first half with not really a good performance.

“Even if their first goal was a set-piece the opponent didn’t have that many chances but we also didn’t play as committed and as stable as we have been the last games “It was not a coincidence that we went two down in that moment and a few weak defeating situations where we could do it better and against an opponent who was very aggressive when we went two down.

“We changed the shape in the first half and it didn’t work and we changed the shape at half time and I think it worked better and we took the risk with 4-2-3 and were very aggressive.

“Second half 26 shots on the goal and a lot of chances and every second ball for us and very dominating and if we are two down it is difficult to come back and we could score more than once in that situation.

“The final goal is not important for me as the game was decided in that moment.

“We had the chances to turn the tables and invested a lot but we missed the chances.”

Saints were far better in the second period following the introduction of Ryan Bertrand.

When asked whether he regretted his initial team selection, Hasenhuttl replied: “We knew against Bournemouth it is always a tactically interesting game and we had a shape we could change a lot.

“After the changing of a back five in the first half we had a period with 10-15 minutes a better position in the game and more possession and created a few chances for us also and a few good moments in the first half.

“When we found better the game came the next hit for the second goal and it’s not easy to stand for the team.

“At half time we had to be clear in the mind and try to find the right decision and I think we took the right decision at half time because second half was a massive reaction for us.

“To make two goals is not easy and it was an open game in the second half and we had more from the game and very aggressive with good solutions with the ball and finally scored two less and that was the problem.”